The cruiseship, MV Liban, has arrived in Beirut in what Lebanese authorities hope is the start of a new era for tourism after months of civil war in their country.
GV Cruise ship approaching Beirut quayside
GV Musicians and onlookers on quayside PAN TO cruiseship Liban
CU Passengers looking over ship's rails
GV Musicians on quayside
MV Side of Liban
MV Musicians and dancers on quayside (3 shots)
MV Side of ship with passengers waving
GV Crowd on quayside
GV Beirut hotels showing war damage ZOOM OUT TO SHOW speed boat and water-skiers (3 shots)
MV Water-skiers getting ready to start run
GV Skiers behind speed-boat (2 shots)
LV Skier doing aquabatics
GV Skiers in action (2 shots)
MV Skiers behind speedboat
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Background: The cruiseship, MV Liban, has arrived in Beirut in what Lebanese authorities hope is the start of a new era for tourism after months of civil war in their country.
SYNOPSIS: As the cruiseship approached Beirut harbour a siren sounded the signal for members of a Lebanese dance troupe to go into their act. The ship started its journey from Marseilles with some 50 passengers aboard. The cruise was specially arranged by the owners of the vessel to inaugurate a service between the two ports. It also marked the re-introduction of tourist travel to Beirut, suspended more than two years ago when the city was in the midst of a bloody civil war. The quayside was a scene of open jubilation as members of the public joined in the spirit of the occasion.
At the height of the civil war, the hotels of Beirut became major targets for gunmen as supporters of both sides took refuge within them. Now that the situation is becoming more stable, the Lebanese authorities are going ahead with plans to attract tourists who not so long ago visited Beirut in their hundreds of thousands. The Tourist Board has already announced plans for hosting an international water-skiing championship in which Austria, West Germany, Switzerland, Iran, Sweden, Belgium and Poland will take part.
The importance to Lebanon of hosting a competition on an international scale has been stressed by Tourist Board officials, who say they see it as a demonstration to the world that stability is returning to the country. The vent will be called the Lebanon Grand Prix and will cost about GBP1000,000 sterling (170,000 U.S. dollars) to stage. Trophies will be awarded but there will be no cash prizes. Lebanon last hosted an international water-ski championship in 1955.